In a flash of genius, my sister Susie bought her favorite fresh pierogi (available in supermarkets), brushed them with olive oil and threw them on the grill. These crisp appetizers have become such a family standby that I'm always trying to come up with new toppings. Two of my favorites: grilled mushrooms and scallions, and spicy fresh salsa.
2 dozen fresh, precooked potato pierogi (see Note)
1 cup chopped tomato
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound large shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 cup sour cream
How to Make It
Light a grill. Arrange the potato pierogi on a large baking sheet and brush generously with olive oil. In a small bowl, mix the chopped tomato with the sliced onion and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper.
Brush the shiitake mushroom caps with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushroom caps over a medium-hot fire until tender and nicely browned, about 4 minutes per side. Thinly slice the mushrooms and transfer to a bowl. Toss the mushrooms with the scallions.
Grill the pierogi over a medium-hot fire until they are browned and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the pierogis to a large platter and spread with the sour cream. Spoon the mushroom topping over half of the pierogi and spoon the tomato salsa over the rest. Serve hot.
Notes: If you use frozen pierogi that are not precooked, you must boil them first, then drain and let cool completely before grilling. BEER The creamy, earthy and spicy elements in these crostini call for a bright, golden lager with plenty of flavor to match. Try the classic Pilsner Urquell or the smooth and strong Polish Piast.